TORONTO — George Springer had a three-run homer and the Houston Astros never looked back in a 7-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night.
Springer also drove in a run with a double as Houston (88-48) racked up 13 hits. One of those was Josh Reddick’s RBI single in a four-run fifth inning.
Wade Miley laboured through 3 2/3 innings for the Astros, striking out five but issuing five walks and giving up an unearned run on two hits.
Collin McHugh (4-5) earned the win, with former Blue Jays pitcher Joe Biagini, Hector Rondon, Chris Devenski and Will Harris also coming on in relief.
Rondon, Devenski and Harris each gave up runs in their respective innings.
Reese McGuire, Derek Fisher and Cavan Biggio all had solo home runs for the Blue Jays (54-82).
Trent Thornton (4-9) pitched five innings, giving up four runs — three earned — with six strikeouts. Jason Adam gave up two more runs coming out of the Blue Jays bullpen, followed by a scoreless inning by Neil Ramirez. Tim Mayza allowed another run in his inning.
Toronto took a 1-0 lead on a rarely called catcher’s interference call. Miley had issued three walks to load the bases when McGuire fouled the ball.
Home plate umpire Mike Estabrook immediately called Houston’s Robinson Chirinos for interference, moving McGuire to first and scoring Teoscar Herandez.
Reddick’s single to right field cashed in Yuli Gurriel to tie it 1-1 in the top of the fifth before Springer launched an 0-1 pitch to deep left field.
Springer’s home run bounced off the windows of a restaurant on the 300 level of Rogers Centre, travelling 463 feet to bring home Chirinos and Reddick.
A high sacrifice fly to right field by Aledmys Diaz scored Yordan Alvarez from third, giving Houston a 5-1 lead in the top of the sixth.
Springer piled on three batters later, with his double to centre field driving in Gurriel and Reddick. That took his RBIs on the night up to four and 77 on the season.
McGuire cut into that lead in the bottom of the seventh, sending the ball just over the right-field fence. Reddick made an impressive attempt at catching the ball, planting one foot on the wall’s cushion to launch himself higher but he just missed.
Rookie third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was thrown out of the game in the seventh inning, drawing loud boos from the 25,289 in attendance. Guerrero was tossed for making a comment to Estabrook as he walked away from home plate after striking out.
Alex Bregman’s basehit in the eighth inning extended Houston’s lead to 7-2, driving in Springer.
Fisher fired back for Toronto in the bottom of the inning, sending a solo shot to right field to make it 7-3. Biggio then had the 11th homer of his rookie season in the bottom of the ninth to cut into that lead even more.
Notes: Commander Chris Hadfield threw out the opening pitch. Pilots from the Royal Air Force’s Red Arrows and the Royal Canadian Air Force’s Snowbirds were at attention on the third-base line as the former astronaut pitched to Blue Jays catcher Danny Jansen.
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John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press